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Fresh concerns over safety as earth and wall give way after downpour

MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2013 – 11:47
Location:
PETALING JAYA
landslide at bukit gasing

SLIPPERY SLOPE: One of the many sections of Bukit Gasing along Jalan 5/60 where landslips occurred over the weekend — Pix: RAZAK GHAZALI

OVER the weekend, landslips have occurred on Bukit Gasing, on both sides of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.

A section of a wall surrounding a nearby sewage treatment plant in Taman Gasing Indah also collapsed, possibly due to a silt slide which breached the hoarding alongside it.

A member of the Maxwell Towers residents association and joint action committee for Bukit Gasing, Gary Yeoh, said the landslips on the Kuala Lumpur side were clearly visible.

“A landslip can be seen from Maxwell Towers, about 10m from the border,” he said.

He said he was informed of the landslip by a neighbour after a downpour on Friday. “About 10m of the boundary wall of a sewage treatment plant outside the main gate (of the development) had also fallen,” he said.

Petaling Jaya councillor Derek Fernandez said Friday’s three landslips on the Petaling Jaya side near Fraser Towers were a serious matter as it was the second time that landslips had been reported within a month.

The previous incident had taken place last Christmas. “It is a clear indication the slope is not stable,” he said.

landslide at bukit gasing

COLLAPSED: A fallen boundary wall. Bukit Gasing residents fear that the next structure giving way could be their homes

“Further landslides could cause loss of life or property, especially for residents of Fraser Towers.”

He said he had highlighted the matter to the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council and the state government but it had been a month and no eff ective measures had been taken.

“I understand that the land is privately owned but as the government, we cannot wait for irresponsible landowners to do the needful,” he said.

landslide at bukit gasing

YEOH: Says landslip on Kuala Lumpur side visible from Maxwell Towers

“We have the power to enter their land and take the necessary action to stabilise the slope and improve the drainage without their consent and hold them liable for the cost and losses and threat to public safety.”

Fernandez also suggested that the state government forfeit the land of such irresponsible landowners.

He said he had warned Kuala Lumpur City Hall about the situation on their side and highlighted the matter in the Federal Court.

“So, if anyone dies (there), City Hall must take responsibility,” he said.

Attempts to contact the developer, sewage treatment plant operator, as well as City Hall were unsuccessful.

 

http://www.mmail.com.my/story/landslips-bukit-gasing-45399

 

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Photo of   Jalan 5/60 after the heavy rain on 25th.January 2013….

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At the foot of the landslide, looking up the slope towards the Sivan temple. 

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This is another section of the slope below Sivan temple which collapse onto Jalan 5/60….

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The massive landslide from the top of the Sivan temple wall to the road below (Jalan 5/60)

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Close up of the Sivan temple structure and the base  of  the telecom tower….

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Bukit Gasing, 25  January 2013  – Another series of landslide hit Bukit Gasing along Jalan 5/60, Petaling Jaya after the heavy rain this afternoon. Jalan 5/60 was block by fallen trees.  Landslides on 2 sections below the Sivan temple.

More photos here…

Landslide in Bukit Gasing – The Malay Mail 

 

PLEA FOR HELP: Residents want authorities to regularly monitor landslide-prone areas

KUALA LUMPUR: THE Bukit Setiawangsa landslide has caused panic among residents staying at several landslide-prone areas in the Klang Valley.

Residents in Bukit Gasing in Petaling Jaya, Ukay Perdana and Bukit Antarabangsa are now demanding that the authorities, especially the local councils, monitor landslide-prone areas and hillslope development.

Some claimed they feel “helpless” against the wrath of Mother Nature.

The latest Setiawangsa episode has jogged the memory of 37-year-old Iskandar Syahril who had been conducting his business near the site of the 2011 landslide that occurred in Ukay Perdana 4.

“I realise how we are powerless against nature.”

Iskandar said there was a noticeable soil movement at the site when it rained after the incident.

“I’ve seen how fast can it move. We are lucky as the previous incident did not result in the loss of lives, but how long will our luck hold?”

Iskandar said there was no further monitoring by the authorities at the site despite calls by him and other business owners.

Checks by the New Straits Times revealed that the affected area was likely to face another landslide because erosion had taken place, leaving a gap and making the whole facade vulnerable.

Slope Watch programme director Emiko Motoyama, who heads the community slope watch within Bukit Antarabangsa, said the residents should pitch in to help monitor slopes in their neighbourhood.

“The authorities cannot be everywhere all the time. We (the residents) should be the eyes and ears for them, since the residents are the best observers of any changes in the slopes around their homes.”

New Straits Times found several areas in Jalan Wangsa 9, Bukit Antarabangsa, have been marked by authorities as danger zones as there were minor landslips.

Persistent slope failures at Bukit Gasing in Petaling Jaya were consistent with the observations and fears of the residents as it was near to their neighbourhood.

Landslides near the Fraser Tower at Jalan 5/60 here were spotted by residents three weeks ago.

A Bukit Gasing joint community council representative, who only wanted to be known as John, said the landslides occurred after the development of the double-storey temple on top of the hill.

“The temple was built at the edge of the hill, causing water disruption and erosion,” he said, adding that the municipal council should seek a long-term solution.

The expansion of the temple made headlines in 2007 after it caused a landslip, leading the council to issue a compound and a stop-work order to the temple management for violating the Street, Drainage and Building Act.

Fraser Towers resident Brian Tan wants Petaling Jaya City Council to inspect the safety of the hills on the Petaling Jaya side.

“We feel that there are parts of Bukit Gasing that are unstable. The authorities must make sure the maintenance of the hill slopes is done regularly.

New Straits Times found more than five landslides within Bukit Gasing that could lead to severe damage to properties and residents.

imageNST

A landslip in Jalan Ukay Perdana 4 in Ampang, Selangor. Pic by Surianie Mohd Hanif

Yet again, development on steep hill slopes in Kuala Lumpur has proven to be disastrous.  This time, it seem to have taken 20 yrs… given the retention walls were first built in 1992 according to the Mayor of KL.

Bkt Setiawangsa landslide: Rain has authorities worried about further damage – Nation | The Star Online.

21 December 2012 | NST

THERE are plans to tear down and rebuild the Sivan Temple in Bukit Gasing which is in a bad shape. Chairman of the interim temple committee, Maharathan Thuraiswamy, said there was a need to scale down the temple which is located on top of the hill due to safety reasons.

The committee plans to demolish the existing two-storey structure and build a single-floor temple.

“I have plans to demolish the existing double-storey temple and build a single-storey temple. I was advised by my engineers that due to the poor workmanship of the temple it is unsafe for public.

“No matter who cares for this place, it should be about the safety of this place. We are transparent and we don’t want this temple to be politicised.”

“Due to the rainy season, we fear  the building may collapse,” said Maharathan.

A check by Streets recently found the temple in a deplorable condition. Long lines of cracks had appeared on the roof and walls and water had also seeped through the roof. There was also a large pool of stagnant water at the rooftop which could become a potential mosquito-breeding ground.

Mini “stalactites” had also formed from sections of the roof, believed caused by water which had been seeping through the walls over the years.

The poor condition of the temple was highlighted in a letter sent by Maharathan to the Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Seri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim office stating the committee’s intention to rebuild the temple.

The letter was forwarded to the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and the matter was subsequently raised during the full-board meeting on Wednesday.

However, during the full-board meeting chaired by Deputy Mayor Puasa Md Taib, he said the council would not make any decision on the matter and would leave it to the state government related to the matter.

State executive councillor Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar, who had been tasked to look into the matter, said he was not in favour of demolishing the temple. However, he would discuss the matter further with the council and the new mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad.

The Sivan Temple started as a shrine some 40 years ago. About six years ago, it was rebuilt to the present size by certain parties without the approval from the authorities. It is now a two-storey temple with three multi-purpose halls.

The temple was closed for over six years due to the rebuilding works. However, small groups of devotees still pray daily at a smaller section of the temple.

When the temple was rebuilt, it incorporated gigantic architectures depicting religious idols. Some had claimed that the huge temple complex was unsafe as it was located on a hilltop which was prone to landslides.

In fact, the expansion of the temple made it to the headlines in 2007 after it caused a landslip.

The council issued a stop-work order and compound to the then temple management for violating the Street, Drainage and Building Act.

The landslip was rectified by the former temple management and was later certified by Public Works Institute of Malaysia (Ikram) in 2008.

The reconstruction work at the temple soon intensified. The council later received a complaint that a portion of the land facing the KL side of Bukit Gasing had given way.

MBPJ issued a second stop-work order and requested a proposal plan for the temple reconstruction works.

A 150m landslide occurred at the northeast of Sivan Temple on Jan 6 last year.

Work to stabilise the slope was allowed to continued by the former temple committee.

Not long after that a court tussle involving two groups claiming to be the temple’s rightful committees began.

On Oct 8 this year, the Shah Alam High Court held that Maharathan Thuraiswamy and four others could continue managing the temple until the disposal of a suit brought by them against Datin Seri Indrani Samy Vellu and three others which is still pending.

Cracks appearing on the roof of the Sivan Temple in Bukit GasingCracks appearing on the roof of the Sivan Temple in Bukit Gasing. Pic by Owee Ah Chun

Read more: Unsafe Sivan Temple may be torn down – Central – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/unsafe-sivan-temple-may-be-torn-down-1.189559#ixzz2G1BmeISV

Gasing Meridian’s proposed development at Bukit Gasing.

The fight to save Bukit Gasing on KL side from ravages of development had been fought for more than a decade. Promises to listen and even to gazette Bukit Gasing have been made, but nothing have changed. Petitions to DBKL and former PM Abdulah Badawi had been futile. Lately, the pace of development have accelerated. Even residents in low cost apartments in the kampong areas are being evicted to make way for development. If nothing is done, the rich will increasingly own the greens of Bukit Gasing.

In Feb 2008, residents/Owners in close proximity feared for their safety and took DBKL to court for approving development on the steep hill slopes of Bukit Gasing without having a public hearing. After more than 4 years, they are still seeking transparency of approval process through the judicial processes. In the meantime the Federal Territory Minister, Datuk Raja Nong Cik is proposing to wipe clean the stain of devastation of Bukit Gasing by renaming Bukit Gasing in KL to Bukit Kerinchi. Any visitors to Bukit Gasing will have seen that the pace of development on KL side Bukit Gasing has picked up. Locals on KL side are well aware of how Bukit/Kampong Kerinchi (the original ones) are slowly disappearing.

We now seek your support for a Petition to the Prime Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Please email us if you able to help gather signatures for the petition the traditional way or you can help by signing the online version here…

We seek your support and help in communicating to the wider public such that our PM will be aware of the wide public concern on the rampant development on Bukit Gasing KL side that threatens the safety of residents there. Without a public hearing, both the risks of steep hill slope development and the sustainability of Bukit Gasing/Gasing Ridge will not be known. Rampant developments in Bukit Gasing KL side cannot be of benefit to the wider population.

Please help with this appeal.

JAC for Bukit Gasing.

Sign Online Petition here….

Save Bukit Gasing Logo

At yesterday’s meeting of applicants to Judicial Review on DBKL’s denial of a public hearing to Bukit Gasing residents, a unanimous decision was reach to proceed with an appeal to the Federal Court.

Our lawyers, Sivarasa Rasiah and Balbir Singh were on hand to help explain the complexity of our legal processes. Many were puzzled by the many hearings over the last 4 years of Judicial Review. Frustrations were voiced by many at how their very justifiable fears for safety did not result in achieving a public hearing or reasonable response from DBKL.  Recent earthworks’ landslips in the Gasing Meridian site brought afresh the dangers the development will bring to the community. Concerns were raised about the impact of development so close to the 23 million liter reservoir sited in between Siva Temple and the development (Sanctuary Ridge) by Gasing Meridian.

By the unanimous decision of the meeting to appeal for justice to the highest court of our country, we can now move on united and ready to argue our case.

We urge all our friends to support our cause. Somehow, we need to raise public awareness of how approvals on steep hill slopes in an area prone to landslides could be given without a public hearing. We also need to highlight to the public how KL residents do not have the same rights as the rest of Peninsular Malaysia when it comes to the right to object to development at their door steps.

Please support us in anyway you can. Do come back to visit this site for updates on our fight for justice and view the various posting of our fight over the years.

JAC for Bukit Gasing.

High-risk area: The tattered sheets on the slope below the Bukit Gasing temple

By VIJENTHI NAIR
vijenthi@thestar.com.my

THE Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has installed durable tarpaulin sheets to replace the tattered ones on the hillslope near Bukit Gasing’s Sivan Temple on June 4.

Councillor Derek Fernandez said MBPJ contractors did the installation under the supervision of its engineering department and Public Works Institute of Malaysia (Ikram).

The cost of over RM20,000 was borne by MBPJ and will be charged to the temple trustees, who have agreed.

Early this year there was a landslip and the temple trustees were instructed to install proper tarpaulin sheets which they have failed to do, pending rectification work to reinforce the slope.

Better protection: The durable tarpaulin sheets installed by MBPJ to replace the torn ones.

Derek said the current legal tussle between the temple’s trustees and the newly-formed Bukit Gasing Sivan Temple Association — as to who is the rightful party to manage the temple — is hampering the rectification work.

“This is at best only a temporary solution and I hope the trustees or temple management will act in the best interest of the public and devotees and immediately start the hillslope rectification, reinforcement works and proper drainage.

“After all, both sides want to build a temple on the land for all and presumably both sides want this temple to be safe for the devotees and public. Both sides should put aside their differences and corporate to rectify the slope immediately,” he said.

“However, I would prefer another 150 meters of sheets to cover until the bottom subject to Ikram and engineering assessment,” he added.

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/6/7/central/8846300&sec=central

Sivan Temple landslide on Bukit Gasing: View from New Pantai Expressway / Kg.Pantai Dalam; Kuala Lumpur.

Bukit Gasing 29,May 2011

The Sivan Temple landslide is getting worse due to inaction by MBPJ. Will the temple wall collapse, bringing the whole temple structure down?  To makes matters worse, the Sivan Temple has been re-opened to devotees recently.

More photos here…

 

Hindraf lawyers declare Bukit Gasing temple ‘open

Watch YouTube Video here…

 

 

 

Residents gather at a family day event in Gasing Indah.

theSun ON MONDAY | MAY 9, 2011

Link to news article…

Link to news article on Pdf…

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